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Author Topic: Marriage to a non-Orthodox spouse (or the conversion of one spouse)  (Read 8873 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: August 12, 2007, 08:55:35 AM »

Quote
As regards, mixed marriages, discernment is vital. I have seen Orthodox 'converts' pester and pester their spouses into becoming members of the Orthodox Church. The result is always negative. On the other hand, I have seen people wait patiently for ten, twenty, thirty years, without even mentioning the possibility of joining the Orthodox Church, and then the other spouse spontaneously asks to join. They have been converted by the Christian example of patience of the other spouse.

I find this encouraging but I lack patience.

I think in the USA many more converts are welcomed than should be welcomed simply because in America churches (of all denominations) are impressed by success, numbers. The more people that you have filling the nave on Sunday,the more successful you are and I might add, the more money that gets put in the collection plate.

Secondly, if a man or woman comes to a priest and is married and asks to convert, the priest should ask if the spouse is on board. If the spouse is not then conversion should be denied or at least forestalled. Conversion of only one spouse can lead to trouble in a marriage. This is what I have seen.

Spouse A is faithful and spouse B never ever shows up for liturgy
Spouse A is faithful and spouse B shows up occasionally and is lacksidaisical
Spouse A shows up dragging Spouse B.
Spouse A eventually falls from Orthodoxy because of the spiritual split in the home

Lord Have Mercy!
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« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2007, 01:03:19 PM »

Secondly, if a man or woman comes to a priest and is married and asks to convert, the priest should ask if the spouse is on board. If the spouse is not then conversion should be denied or at least forestalled. Conversion of only one spouse can lead to trouble in a marriage. This is what I have seen.

Spouse A is faithful and spouse B never ever shows up for liturgy
Spouse A is faithful and spouse B shows up occasionally and is lacksidaisical
Spouse A shows up dragging Spouse B.
Spouse A eventually falls from Orthodoxy because of the spiritual split in the home


True, but this is just as often the case when two Orthodox members get married.  One spouse is faithful while the other never attends, or only attends during Pascha and even then is kicking and screaming.  I don't see this as being a convert issue alone.  Even if both are Orthodox, one 'less faithful' member can easily bring the other one down as well.


[edited name=Friul date=1186938291][/edited]
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« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2007, 01:46:38 PM »

Secondly, if a man or woman comes to a priest and is married and asks to convert, the priest should ask if the spouse is on board. If the spouse is not then conversion should be denied or at least forestalled. Conversion of only one spouse can lead to trouble in a marriage. This is what I have seen.

Spouse A is faithful and spouse B never ever shows up for liturgy
Spouse A is faithful and spouse B shows up occasionally and is lacksidaisical
Spouse A shows up dragging Spouse B.
Spouse A eventually falls from Orthodoxy because of the spiritual split in the home 

Except this goes against a lot of the New Testament - the Church was built on one-person in the household becoming a Christian, and then converting the others... It's all over the Epistles - why they shouldn't divorce, how the Christian one can be a blessing on the pagan one, etc.

Now, if Spouse A falls from Orthodoxy because of the unbelief of Spouse B, then they weren't that strong in their faith to begin with.  But your first 3 situations are okay - Spouse A is working towards their salvation, and trying (through the example of their life) to convert the other, but no one should be forced into converting, OTOH someone who earnestly wants to become Orthodox shouldn't be prevented because of their spouse.


[edited name=cleveland date=1186940895][/edited]
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« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2007, 10:08:57 PM »

I am one who is the only Orthodox in my family.  My husband is a devote Baptist.  My children are of the young adult age where they are wandering as regards church stuff and faith.  None have an interest in Orthodoxy.

Yes, it has been hard but my husband and I have worked through the differences and are at peace with one another.  One thing I do not do is "pester," "cram ideas," beg or plead.  If he wants to come to church with me, he will.  If there is a special event at his church he wants to me attend, I will.  Or if he is a guest preacher at a church, if I can and it fits the schedule, I will go and listen.  (He is ordained.)

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« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2007, 06:23:15 AM »

That's a though one to answer. I'm a convert myself, and pray I do not burn out. Zeal may have someting to do with it I suppose, like an untried line backer coming off the bench if you will, ready to do all and more than it is able. It seems to me though there should be a spiritual elder, or god parent watching out for them so the do not "flame out" not to mention the priests.
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« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2007, 07:33:55 AM »

I am one who is the only Orthodox in my family.  My husband is a devote Baptist.  My children are of the young adult age where they are wandering as regards church stuff and faith.  None have an interest in Orthodoxy.

Yes, it has been hard but my husband and I have worked through the differences and are at peace with one another.  One thing I do not do is "pester," "cram ideas," beg or plead.  If he wants to come to church with me, he will.  If there is a special event at his church he wants to me attend, I will.  Or if he is a guest preacher at a church, if I can and it fits the schedule, I will go and listen.  (He is ordained.)

Above all things, "Love one another as I have first loved you."

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Athanasia (Trudy)

That's a though one to answer. I'm a convert myself, and pray I do not burn out. Zeal may have someting to do with it I suppose, like an untried line backer coming off the bench if you will, ready to do all and more than it is able. It seems to me though there should be a spiritual elder, or god parent watching out for them so the do not "flame out" not to mention the priests.

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« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2007, 08:14:54 AM »

Fiul:

Your answer is correct, I was thinking about what you had said while I was writing my piece; however, in the case where two Orthodox are married and one is devout and the other is not at elast you share a common foundation say from childhood also tied up with ethnicity. I attended a church where a very sweet Palestinian couple also attended. The wife was devout, the husband less so, but regardless there was no question as to whether one was wandering off to another denomination.

Trudy,

I am in you boat. to use a more Protestant example the husband is to be the spiritual leader. What do you do when the wife does not follow? In my case my wife is not following me to Orthodoxy. In your case it is the opposite, you are not following to the Baptist church, regularly. I do not say this to chastise you or me, just a question. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

All good posts -  Where's Father Chris.
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« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2007, 09:43:51 AM »

Why, I’m right here, of course!

In my own case, my wife was led into the Church through me (she was Catholic, and fortunately she found through the Church the answers to multiple questions she had been asking but could never find an answer, especially since she was teaching in Catholic schools virtually her entire teaching career. The conversion was done on the down-low just to avoid any potential problems).

Regarding conversions where one spouse sees Truth and the other just is content to stay where they are, IMO the most important issue is the communication between the spouses. In one case here we have one member of a family converting and the spouse wants to stay in their former church home. However, the non-converting spouse is fine with the conversion---no opposition has been voiced, and frankly I think I’ll be chrismating the other spouse in a few years.

The reason this is cited is because it shows how a couple can handle this situation well. What concerns me are the couples who apparently have no ‘consensus-building skills’ between themselves and then one’s conversion, if not handled properly, can lead to problems.

In most marriages I’ve seen, it is unusual to find both partners spiritually inclined. The division of responsibilities usually is to have one spouse lead the religious life and the other take more of a back seat (I know exceptions do exist, but this is a general rule of thumb for most families). Often the ‘spiritual’ member gets clued to the Church and the other then is placed in a difficult position---s/he doesn’t see what the other sees and understands that the friends they had in their former church home may now be lost. Therefore the recalcitrant spouse often stays back to keep ‘a foot in both camps’ and see how this Orthodox ‘experiment’ works out.

Then, it is incumbent upon the Church community to show the spouse staying behind that we are not concerned about the ethnic background or that s/he can’t trill the ‘r’ sound when speaking, etc. Once again, conversions come down to love---just as the Spirit helps move someone to enter the Church out of love, so now must everyone in the Church love the non-Orthodox spouse so that he or she will know that they will find what they are looking for.



[edited name=FrChris date=1187015607][/edited]
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« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2007, 10:50:50 AM »

Dear Aserb,

As you know, I am at this point the only Orthodox in my family. Right now, it seems absolutely, completely useless to even allude to my wife that she might consider believing in God - she remains an extremely entrenched, outspoken agnostic. It' even worse with my 23-y.o. daughter who seems to be a militant atheist, with her mom's full support.

But my priest never for one split second hesitated when he welcomed my becoming a catechumen and getting chrismated. He knows about my family situation, but his only comment is that all three of us - my agnostic wife and my atheist daughter and me, an unworthy Orthodox convert - are always in his prayers. When he and I speak about my family situation, he just keeps saying that *I* should remain faithful and leave the rest to God.

And let me say it very strongly: I do NOT have ANY problems in my marriage, as such. I want my wife and daughter to convert, but in fact I don't believe that I am really "more Orthodox" than they are solely because I believe (intellectually) in the triune God and pray and fast, etc., and these two ladies do not.  Only God knows who is a "real" Orthodox, who is truly His own. Only He knows the hearts.
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« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2007, 11:10:44 AM »

As some of you may know, my wife has been rather reticent to join me at liturgy since Pascha.  I must echo Fr. Chris' post is that communication has become the key in dealing with the situation.  I get up on Sunday mornings and proceed to get ready; I do not shake her awake and say, "Let's go, rise and shine!" nor do I make alot of noise.  She's a relatively light sleeper and knows I'm up and knows why I'm up.  She also knows I would really like her to join me.  I will not pester her.  She's an adult and she knows how much I'd like her to come with me.  Yes, it does hurt a bit when she doesn't, but I'm not going to allow myself (nor give the Enemy the pleasure) to get angry with her.  Not only will it be fruitless and most likely end up in resentment on one or both sides, it will also be detrimental to our relationship to one another and to God. 

We talk about it alot, her not coming, and I've come to understand the very wide array of factors involved in her decision to stay put.  Much like George, I've learned that I can try to be faithful myself and leave the rest to God.  Change often moves glacially when it comes to conversion, but there will eventually come a time when the glacier breaks off into the ocean.  I pray for the patience to remain faithful myself until that day Smiley
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« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2007, 10:53:52 PM »

Trudy,

to use a more Protestant example the husband is to be the spiritual leader. What do you do when the wife does not follow? In my case my wife is not following me to Orthodoxy. In your case it is the opposite, you are not following to the Baptist church, regularly. I do not say this to chastise you or me, just a question. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Cleveland - thank you for your prayer.

Aserb - you have brought up a point which I struggled with for a very long time before being received.  My priest and I spoke often about it.  I sought the counsel of those who were in the same situation as I.  What I concluded was/is that God called me to Orthodoxy.  Of that I could not deny.  I had a choice.  Obey Him.  Disobey Him.  I chose to obey.  It was a huge risk, but I took it anyway; trusting that He would make things work as they needed to according to His will.

May God give us all strength and courage as we walk the road He has appointed for us and when we stray to return to the right road.

Trudy
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« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2007, 11:49:53 AM »

Trudy

Thanks for the repair; however, I despair sometimes as I am sure that you and others do also.

Dan
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« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2007, 11:55:02 AM »


Thanks for the repair; however, I despair sometimes as I am sure that you and others do also.


I know it is easy to despair, but in those dark moments please remember that hope and love are the foundation stones of the Church.

Humanity's greatest victory was won while the Apostles were grieving the death of Christ, and they could not see what was actually happening.
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« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2007, 12:43:47 PM »

Trudy

Thanks for the repair; however, I despair sometimes as I am sure that you and others do also.

Dan
Dan,

No, I cannot say I despair even sometimes over this.  My husband is a deeply faithful man and loves God very much.  I do not worry about his salvation at all, being grateful to God that it is His concern and not mine.  My husband has done more for my salvation than anyone I know.

May God give you comfort and hope in your times of despair Dan.  All things are possible with God.

In Christ, Trudy
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« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2007, 03:12:19 PM »

My husband is a deeply faithful man and loves God very much.  I do not worry about his salvation at all, being grateful to God that it is His concern and not mine.  My husband has done more for my salvation than anyone I know.

Dear Trudy, that's what I feel, too... My wife is an agnostic, a non-believer, so she would never say that she "loves God," but she loves people and she loves me and I am sure God loves her. And BY ALL MEANS, she has done much, much, much more for my salvation than anyone I know. --George
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« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2007, 10:57:14 PM »

My wife is an agnostic, a non-believer, so she would never say that she "loves God," but she loves people and she loves me and I am sure God loves her. And BY ALL MEANS, she has done much, much, much more for my salvation than anyone I know.

Herohij,

If I'm not mistaken, I believe that St. Paul says in one of his epistles that he hopes his example will save others as a wife's example saves her husband.  I'm sure the Apostle referred to any good wife, not only those who are in the Church, so I'm happy that is the case for you.    Cheesy

If I marry the woman I'm currently with, I hope that she can help to save me from the pit that I am looming in.  She's Orthodox so I hope that is a plus.  Grin
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« Reply #16 on: August 19, 2007, 09:30:20 AM »

Herohij,

If I'm not mistaken, I believe that St. Paul says in one of his epistles that he hopes his example will save others as a wife's example saves her husband.  I'm sure the Apostle referred to any good wife, not only those who are in the Church, so I'm happy that is the case for you.    Cheesy


Yes, precisely. And the Apostle also says that this work of salvation can be done "WITHOUT A WORD" (can't find the exact quote right now, but remember it by heart).

Thank you for the encouragement! Many years to you with the woman you love!
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« Reply #17 on: August 22, 2007, 02:44:38 AM »

Trudy,

I am in you boat. to use a more Protestant example the husband is to be the spiritual leader. What do you do when the wife does not follow? In my case my wife is not following me to Orthodoxy. In your case it is the opposite, you are not following to the Baptist church, regularly. I do not say this to chastise you or me, just a question. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

All good posts -  Where's Father Chris.

Father, this might be a bit OT: so, it is okay for the Church that the priest's wife is not Orthodox? I mean, that would not be a hindrance for someone to be considered by the bishop in one's ordination to the priesthood?
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« Reply #18 on: August 22, 2007, 06:37:57 AM »

Father, this might be a bit OT: so, it is okay for the Church that the priest's wife is not Orthodox? I mean, that would not be a hindrance for someone to be considered by the bishop in one's ordination to the priesthood?
No one with a non-Orthodox spouse may be ordained in any order - minor or major.
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« Reply #19 on: August 22, 2007, 10:08:06 AM »

Speaking of this... my wife and I were married in the former USSR in the 1980-s and our marriage was a typical Soviet state ceremony. It was never blessed in any church. I keep telling my wife that we should ask our priest to wed us in church; I feel that this should be done and that we aren't quite right with God delaying this. But she, an agnostic, does not consider this thing as all that important. She says, if we had a nice big church (instead of our tiny parish that meets at our priest's house), with our friends and relatives and especially our daughter present (and our daughter currently lives in Boston), then she would agree to that, but otherwise, why bother... What would you guys advise me to do? I am not talking about this with my priest because, again, my wife does not want this conversation to happen right now.
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« Reply #20 on: August 22, 2007, 11:06:18 AM »

Sorry, Heorhij, only your priest can really answer you. Depending on your jurisdiction's (bishop's) rules, a blessing of your union may not be possible under these circumstances - your wife's standing, to be exact.
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« Reply #21 on: August 22, 2007, 11:20:35 AM »

Thank you, Aristokles. Sorry for a dumb question.  Embarrassed
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« Reply #22 on: August 22, 2007, 12:25:22 PM »

You know the old adage: There are no dumb questions, only dumb answers...  Smiley
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« Reply #23 on: August 31, 2007, 01:46:35 PM »

Marriage is the holy bond between two believers in Christ.

The marriage is consumated by the married couple partaking in the holy body and blood of Christ.

of course a non-beleiver would not be allowed to partake.

Marriage is a very serious matter in the Holy Orthodox church. It is sacred justified by the Church of Christ Holy body.

Marriage is not offered for matters of conveience or neatness as is done by christians outside the Holy church from time to time.

I expect that the sacrament of marriage is witheld from all non-beleivers as per the above by all orthodox churches.

I am aware that some orthodox churches has found it necessary to carry out  marriages between faithful and non-beleivers. I do not understand why.

If one party is not a true beleiver than the 'holiness' of matrimony is not going to bare fruit in that person.

To me it is just all ceremony.

An event for pictures and such.
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« Reply #24 on: August 31, 2007, 03:02:15 PM »

If one party is not a true beleiver than the 'holiness' of matrimony is not going to bare fruit in that person.

Maybe yes, maybe no.  St Paul only addresses cases where the one spouse becomes Orthodox after marriage, but he does make the case that the "unbelieving" status of the one spouse is not a reason for divorce - because the marriage gives an avenue for the one spouse to model the Christian life in a very personal and meaningful way.  So while the reference isn't necessarily on point in this discussion, at the same time I wouldn't dismiss the value of the marriage out of hand, either.
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« Reply #25 on: August 31, 2007, 04:38:03 PM »

Speaking of this... my wife and I were married in the former USSR in the 1980-s and our marriage was a typical Soviet state ceremony. It was never blessed in any church. I keep telling my wife that we should ask our priest to wed us in church...

Just FYI: In most Orthodox Churches (e.g. Russian, Greek), a member in good standing can have his/her marriage blessed in the Church only if he/she is marrying (a) another Orthodox Christian or (b) a Christian baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity in an approved non-Orthodox Church.

Of course, in the U.S. that list of approved non-Orthodox Churches tends to be fairly inclusive. In places like Greece or Russia, it is very small -- and often it can only happen with special permission from the local Bishop. [Actually, ALL marriages of any type can only happen after the official review and blessing from the local Bishop.]

At any rate, it seems unlikely that your wife falls into either normally approved category. I wouldn't worry about it, though. As cleveland has said, the unbelieving spouse is sanctified by the believing spouse. Your current participation in the Eucharist as a member of the Church in good standing sanctifies your marriage even now.
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« Reply #26 on: August 31, 2007, 06:36:53 PM »

Pentaseomnia,

Many thanks. This was a very, very encouraging post.

G.
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« Reply #27 on: August 31, 2007, 10:30:53 PM »

Marriage is the holy bond between two believers in Christ.

The marriage is consumated by the married couple partaking in the holy body and blood of Christ.

of course a non-beleiver would not be allowed to partake.

Marriage is a very serious matter in the Holy Orthodox church. It is sacred justified by the Church of Christ Holy body.

Marriage is not offered for matters of conveience or neatness as is done by christians outside the Holy church from time to time.

I expect that the sacrament of marriage is witheld from all non-beleivers as per the above by all orthodox churches.

I am aware that some orthodox churches has found it necessary to carry out  marriages between faithful and non-beleivers. I do not understand why.

If one party is not a true beleiver than the 'holiness' of matrimony is not going to bare fruit in that person.

To me it is just all ceremony.

An event for pictures and such.
I believe the canons do forbid the marriage of a Christian to a heretic.  Therefore, according to a strict interpretation of these canons, the bishop cannot bless an Orthodox Christian to marry a heterodox Christian.  However, Orthodox Christians are such a minuscule minority outside the Orthodox countries of the Old World as to make these canons virtually unenforceable.  The desire to enjoy the love of a mate and to procreate is such a strong natural force that if one cannot find a mate within the Church because of the scarcity of churches, then one will seek one outside the Church.  Most bishops of the Diaspora therefore recognize that to apply akrevia in this issue is a battle that they will never win; these bishops see clearly that many young adults will leave the Church altogether if they are forbidden to marry someone from outside the Church.

Hence, most of our bishops have very wisely decided to apply some level of oikonomia as regards Orthodox marriage to the heterodox.  As a general rule here, an Orthodox Christian in good standing is allowed to marry someone outside the Faith as long as the desired spouse is baptized in the Name of the Holy Trinity and the wedding is performed as an Orthodox ceremony in a canonical Orthodox Church.  Rest assured, though, that no bishop will bless an Orthodox Christian to marry someone who has not even been baptized.
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« Reply #28 on: September 02, 2007, 08:56:32 PM »

Peter is right  as to the Church not marrying an Orthodox Christian to an unbaptized person. The general rule of thumb in most jurisdictions appears to be  marriage is allowable, by blessing or economia,  to an Orthodox Christian and someone baptized using the  correct Trinitarian Formula and in general agreement what that means (this eliminates Latter-day saints or Mormons,  Jehovah's Witnesses, Quakers, Salvation Army, Seventh Day Adventists, the Moonies, Oneness Pentecostals, etc)

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« Reply #29 on: September 03, 2007, 12:00:41 AM »

My brother said something about their church having to follow the nicean creed (but im not sure!).
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« Reply #30 on: September 03, 2007, 04:04:05 PM »

My brother said something about their church having to follow the nicean creed (but im not sure!).
Problem is, many Protestant churches have no idea what the Creed is about. I brought it up in my theology class a couple of years ago, and the class had no idea what it said. Moreover, when they heard it, they immediately began arguing as to what it meant! So I dare say all Christian churches claim to "follow the Creed" even if they're attacking each other at the same time.
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« Reply #31 on: September 03, 2007, 04:07:24 PM »

Problem is, many Protestant churches have no idea what the Creed is about. I brought it up in my theology class a couple of years ago, and the class had no idea what it said. Moreover, when they heard it, they immediately began arguing as to what it meant! So I dare say all Christian churches claim to "follow the Creed" even if they're attacking each other at the same time.

Actually, some Protestants not only ignore the Creed but almost boast that they do not believe it. I remember seeing a big sign at the entrance into a Church of Christ building, "The church is NOT "holy" - it is full of people like you and me."
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« Reply #32 on: September 03, 2007, 10:27:02 PM »

Actually, some Protestants not only ignore the Creed but almost boast that they do not believe it. I remember seeing a big sign at the entrance into a Church of Christ building, "The church is NOT "holy" - it is full of people like you and me."
Protestantism was born out of a reaction to the excesses of the medieval Catholic church. So it's no suprise that they should attack Tradition wherever they see it. This is not their fault, really; they are so blinded by what they feel is "evil Catholicism" that they cannot separate true Tradition from the traditions of men they originally, and rightly, argued against.
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« Reply #33 on: September 04, 2007, 06:39:06 PM »

I can not understand why anyone would want to "procreate " so badly that they are willing to sell their souls for the hope.

I can not undersatnd how anyone can think (not mention say) that the "church" and the "bishops" have to (had to) conform to the thirsts of thier congregations who could not find "procreation" mates because they lived in an area that did not have any orthodox churches. This is very odd to me.

In the world I come from this kind of thinking is considered heretical. We think this because we are taught that the "church" is our lives. The "church" dictates to us what we are to do with our lives. Not the other way. Of course we have people who wnat these 'convenient' marriages as well. Such are repremanded and re-educated on the scripture regarding the teachings. Of course some run out of the church and get "married" in some place or another. Of course no sacraments are given these people.

Scripture teaches us that not all of us can be saved. The church must save those who thirst for rightiousness and truely want to be a Christ like creature. Some people just like that they are in the true church. But they fail to see that thier lives are not in the church with them.

It is corruption to make special conditions for people who really do not want to worship God. If you REALLY want to worship God you wouild follow His commandments. He said: "Love Not the world nor ANYTHING in it" "put all your love in God who can save"

Is this way of behaving common among the EO communities; to run out of the church and straight to hell because you could not find a wife in the church?

What other desires are imposed upon the bishops by the congregations?

Or do you want me to believe it is just the little 'marriage' thing only?

I feel sure that it is much more. ( I hope I am wrong). Rebellion no matter how small it is is always ripe for for more rebellion.

Why is the "church" the blame because 'you' moved to an area where only heretics and gentiles live?

Serious orthodox christians move to areas where thier is correct orthodox church communities. Yes.. We may not get the big job of our careers because we will not live just anywhere. To serious followers of the faith the thinking is ...So what!

I know people who will not even vacation some place that does not have an orthodox church that is reacheable. Now everyboby will not do that. But i think that is a good example nevertheless.

Why move to America for better opportunities than blame the church for not having a wife for you?

I read the posts made that seem to support 'placating' people sad.

Marriage is a Holy Sacrament. If we can't keep it that way than what is it worth? "Its like salt without its flavor; to be trampled upon by men" as said in the scripture.

Would you like salt water and clear water coming out of your faucet?

I do not!

I want clear sweet water to be in one faucet and the salt water can come from somehere else. We orthodox do not 'mix' we keep it 'straight', 'true' or "ortho"....Thus we destinguish ourselves from the salt water. WE do not mix.

To me people who except the revised new fangled, un-orthodox idea of marrying someone outside the chuch are recieving these "marriages" without the fullness of pure Holy Orthodoxy.

It is sad.

Please go home and find a wife in your country if that is better. Marry an Ethiopian or Coptic or Greek.
But to marry a baptist or someone of the other so called "christains" is heretical. It is even more heretical to think that these 'people' have "true" baptism just because they use the term 'trinity'. The trinity was fulfilled when the Holy Spirit fell upon the Church. The church here is Orthodox. The people we call protestant left the church. Are we saying that they took the Holy spirit out with them? Because that is the only way they could claim any kind of real "trinity". The whole matter is too confusing for me. Maybe they did take the Holy Spirit with them. If this is true than maybe they are really just as much the real church as the orthodox?

Again; we can go all day with this "as long as they beleive in the trinity" hookie. To say this is just a false since of hope...wishful thinking.

This sadness does not hold up to real orthodoxy.

We are playing games here.

This is riddled with holes and over burdened with huge contradictions.

To me if you can marry a lutheren because she/he excepts the "trinity" than why don't you take communion with them...hey take ordination with them to.

In my world ALL the 7 sacaraments are one in essence and are not to be divided. The sacraments are the foundation of the church...which is Holy Apostoplic and Orthodox in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Thus if I can't take communion with you than I can't share my life with you. Hard; but this is the riggers of true orthodox christianity.

Maybe somebody can find a scripture froom St Paul to lighten the load of my point. Hey! you know protestants are pros at finding scripture to dispell the orthodox.

The object of the game (why we are orthodox in the Lord in the first place) is that we are 'preparing' for eternity with Him.

No wife, or child or husband or mom, or father is more important to us orthodox. We will spare all of the above and more to exist with Him now and forever.

So I would rather suffer a lonely man in this world than leave my Lord.

I have said a lot considering that I have a happy life with a very beautiful orthodox wife. Thanks to God.

God help us.

I do not want to dis-appoint anyone.

Convenience is easy.

The truth is hard....but is the only way.

I pray that all of us is blessed by Gods will and not our own desires.

Serve God first......

Your Servant
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« Reply #34 on: September 04, 2007, 07:21:07 PM »

I can not understand why anyone would want to "procreate " so badly that they are willing to sell their souls for the hope. 

Um, marriage isn't just for procreation.  Your question presupposes Catholic belief that marriage is for procreation.  Read On Marriage and Family Life - St. John Chrysostom's homilies, by SVS Press.

Why is the "church" the blame because 'you' moved to an area where only heretics and gentiles live?

Serious orthodox christians move to areas where thier is correct orthodox church communities. Yes.. We may not get the big job of our careers because we will not live just anywhere. To serious followers of the faith the thinking is ...So what!

I know people who will not even vacation some place that does not have an orthodox church that is reacheable. Now everyboby will not do that. But i think that is a good example nevertheless. 

Well, it's a good thing that "Serious" Orthodox DID move to areas where only heretics and gentiles lived - otherwise you and I wouldn't be Orthodox, brother.

I don't even want to touch the rest of your ranting post.  You're correct - it's not right for an Orthodox Christian to marry a non-Orthodox Christian.  Some Churches permit it as an exception to the standard, in order to be understanding of the situation in certain countries.  However, your tone is completely inappropriate here in the Convert Issues forum - make your point without ranting.
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« Reply #35 on: September 04, 2007, 07:26:45 PM »

Beloved in the Lord Amdetsion ,

The purpose of the Convert issues forum is to provide a a place on the OC.Net where inquirers, catechumen, and newly converted could ask their questions about the Orthodox Faith in a safe and supportive forum without retribution or recrimination. Many of those posting in this area are ignorant of Orthodox teachings and are using this forum to understand what are the basic teachings and practices of the Orthodox churches. Due to the simplicity of many of their requests and responses, direct and simple answers with sources if possible are most helpful. Try to avoid responses that appear "preachy" or condescending. The convert forum is not a place for combative debate or arguement. 

If the moderators find that the discusions become faith or jurisdiction debates, the topic may be split and sent the appropriate OC.Net forum to continue the discussion or debate. As a poster,You may also ask that a topic be split so that a private discussion can be established to go into detail about the issues that you feel adamant about and wish to debate or discuss. Do you wish the topic split? If so PM me and I will arrange for it within 24 hours.

Thank you for your following these guidelines to the edification and spiritual growth of the forum inquirers, catechumen, and newly converted.

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« Reply #36 on: September 04, 2007, 09:57:02 PM »

Problem is, many Protestant churches have no idea what the Creed is about. I brought it up in my theology class a couple of years ago, and the class had no idea what it said. Moreover, when they heard it, they immediately began arguing as to what it meant! So I dare say all Christian churches claim to "follow the Creed" even if they're attacking each other at the same time.
I agree. I am sure it's not malice but ignorance and bravado.
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« Reply #37 on: September 04, 2007, 10:08:30 PM »

Problem is, many Protestant churches have no idea what the Creed is about. I brought it up in my theology class a couple of years ago, and the class had no idea what it said. Moreover, when they heard it, they immediately began arguing as to what it meant! So I dare say all Christian churches claim to "follow the Creed" even if they're attacking each other at the same time.
I don't wanna hijack the thread, but I was just talking to another member the other day about studying the thread. Are there any online resources I could visit to start with?
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« Reply #38 on: September 04, 2007, 10:25:47 PM »

I agree. I am sure it's not malice but ignorance and bravado.
Getting back on topic....Yes. This is why we cannot say that just because someone "believes in the Trinity" or "follows the Creed" that they are the same as Orthodox Christians. We must be sure what they mean by those words. The real question is do they follow Christ in an Orthodox manner? That is to say, do they worship God the way he wants to be worshipped, in the way which will bring the greatest healing to our souls and bodies? Do they follow the teachings of Jesus Christ in both letter and spirit? Are they actively and sincerely repenting of their sins, not only confessing them to God and those they've sinned against but truly turning from those things and living a holy life? These, in my opinion, are far more important a measure of Orthodoxy than whether the cross above the door has three bars.

So if a bishop chooses to bless a union between an Orthodox and a non-Orthodox who is sincere about their faith, it should be on a case-by-case basis, the bishop having thoroughly evaluated the individual. I really do think, though, that such a person as I've described above would not have any qualms about the Orthodox Christian Church.
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« Reply #39 on: September 05, 2007, 10:46:39 AM »

I am aware of the sensitivity associated with this subject and find that I could have taken a more cautious approach.

As an arch daecon working directly under an archbishop I am obligated to explain the faith of the church to all the faithful and catachumen on a regular basis. I am very acustomed with teaching the convert member.

I am a preacher. Thanks be to God.

All my posts on any thread over the last few years have been "preachy" at least in my opinion. Its my way.

I will be more contious of this in the future as to HOW I preach.

My hope ( as is all of our hope) is that the convert or potential convert will learn the way of the Lord as an orthodox christian.

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